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memory and nausea

Feb 3, 2004

I was just diagnosed HIV+ about two weeks ago, since then i've been experiencing strong "metalic" smells which result in lightheadedness and nausea. The smell occurs anywhere and is the same each time. I've also experienced memory loss and some confusion. One week ago I couldn't even remember what the place looked like where I work, although now I can. I've had a head CT scan and a lumbar puncture which both were negative and normal CXR. Am I experiencing "normal" Hiv symptoms? I'm off work now because of the memory loss. My PCP referred me to a neurologist which I can't see for another two weeks. CD4 was 430, VL 29,000 Should I be concerned? My memory seems to be coming back slowly. Is this just the encephalapathy from the virus? What is the "metalic" smell that makes me nauseated and lightheaded? I have not started meds yet.

Response from Dr. Horwath

Seeing a neurologist is a good idea for the evaluation of the memory problems, confusion and "metallic" smells. I would not regard these as "normal" HIV symptoms. These are symptoms of a probable neurologic or psychiatric problem, which should be further evaluated.

"Metallic smells" and other odd smells are sometimes a sign of a disorder of the temporal lobes. This is a part of the brain, and you can best be evaluated for this by a neurologist.

Need to know for peace of mind!

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